You Just Sell Some Ebooks Don't You?
It's easy isn't it? Well I thought it was when I started my Online Bookstore.....
I figured if you build it they will come, well I got them to come, but I forgot to get them to buy anything.
So what's the answer? Now it's not all doom and gloom, but lets be realistic, it's not easy.
Lets look at the challenges and then the solutions will become apparent as we go.
The first problem is the competition, if you sell books you are up against the likes of Amazon and if you sell eBooks you are up against literally thousands of sites.
Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the other big dogs sell across the spectrum and they buy in bulk and sell cheap. You really can't compete with them.
So how do you sell books competing with these guys? The simplest solution is not to compete against these guys, sounds crazy doesn't it, but it's true. Pick an area that you have some knowledge of and then specialize in that area.
Maybe you have a dog that you take to agility or fly ball classes or competitions. You use your knowledge of this area to locate books and ebooks on the subject and then create a specialist website, a "niche site" to sell them from.
The next problem is advertising, email isn't dead no matter what you hear. But it is much harder to get your email read by those you send it too. Spam filters are a necessary evil but they can starve a business of cheap advertising.
The easiest way around that is to create a demand for information and then use that demand to obtain email addresses from your potential customers. This could be through a regular newsletter or by providing an eBook in exchange for the email information. If you are up to it you could write your own eBook to offer, that way the information is unique.
If you do that, then you will be put in the readers "white list", that way they will get your email and better still, read it.
Then there is traffic, you need thousands of visitors and you need them to come because they want to, not because they are tricked into coming.
This is the difficult bit, you can join as many traffic exchanges as you like, but in my opinion, you are wasting your time. The visitors you get will be low quality, that is to say that the chances of them wanting anything from your site will be poor.
The real answer is that holy grail, search engine traffic. You could use Google's Adwords, but you had better keep a very close eye on what's going on, I recently took my eye off an Adwords campaign that I made a small change to, 24 hours later it cost me an extra $60 in exchange for 10 leads. That is an expensive lesson to learn when you are supposed to be making money not losing it.
The safest way is to study Google's guidelines then take a visit to my home page at http://www.e-readit.co.uk and find the button for Easy Submit and Meta Tag Analyzer, use the free tools to find out where you are loosing out in your Meta Tags. That will help a little but you need to do a little more yet.
The key to success with all search engines is quality content. The best content will draw the best results.
You need to have products that they will be willing to buy from you, before they will buy from you they need to trust you.
To help your visitors trust you, stop selling them! That is to say, do your very best to explain why they can't be without your products, but don't beat them over the head with logic. Get them passionate your product, create a desire, the rest will happen.
Finally you need to have them come back and buy from you again and again if possible. That is where the list that you built with samples and teasers. That list is your ticket to back end orders and repeat business.
So what did I specialize in? Answer: Webmasters eBooks and in the world of real books Motivational Books and Rare Books.
I hope this gives you an idea of the challenges, some of the possible solutions and of course, where to get more information on the subjects :-)
Here's to your site and your success
About the Author: With a love of books, a background in IT and a desire to build a big business, Steve has developed a number of websites, partnered with some of the internets best known characters and developed his own products. It's time to share the knowledge and help others.